Book review: “The Death of Bees”

Reviewed by Taylor Hogan

The Death of Bees, a fiction book written by Lisa O’Donnel, is set in destitute parts of modern-day Glasgow.

It is written from the perspective of three different characters who are part of a world of depravity and misfortune.

The Death of Bees starts off very dramatically as it jumps straight into the death of two young girls’ drug addict parents, Gene and Izzy. Fifteen-year-old Marnie is a troubled child who has had a terrible upbringing. Her eleven-year-old sister, Nelly, is a naive adolescent who has little idea of the risky situation in which she and her sister have put themselves. Having buried their parents in their backyard, the girls try to live their lives secretly and keep their parents’ death hidden from the public so they avoid being separated. The girls fortunately find a safe haven and guidance in their neighbor’s home. They feel as though they share a common lifestyle with Lennie, for he lives a shady life just as they do. A powerful, contemporary, and shady story, The Death of Bees brings an unexpected light through deep darkness.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnel. It is a coming-of-age, intermediate level book that should be read by mature readers who can handle mature topics.

Taylor Hogan is a graduating senior in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys softball and art and plans to attend Louisiana State University to major in Industrial Engineering.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly during the summer in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.

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